Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island told us that demand this week is “fair,” with jumbo whites and jumbo yellows seeing higher demand than other colors/sizes. “The market is steady right now,” Michelle said, noting that the “storage crop is finishing up, and fresh crop is just starting.” She said supplies from A. Gurda are good.
Aries Haygood with M&T Farms in Lyons, GA, said on April 18 that recent severe weather had for the most part skirted that area. “We were fortunate to dodge those severe storms [in early April],” Aries told OnionBusiness.com. “The weather since then has been good for us to get harvest going, and we’re about 35 percent in now with more coming in this week.” Aries said M&T started shipping Vidalias April 12, and he said, “Movement right now is good. Everyone is getting past the Easter push and back to normal. We should start seeing very good flow, and believe it or not we’re getting geared up for Memorial Day.” Quality is great, he said.
Steve Baker with Baker Packing in Ontario, OR, said demand has been fairly good this week,” adding, “Our core customer base is staying with us until we finish.” Steve said there doesn’t seem to be greater demand for any one size over another on yellows, and he said the market is “steady as of Wednesday, April 19, morning.” Steve said, “We have good availability on yellows. Our supplies on red onions, especially medium reds, are winding down.”
Chris Woo with Murakami Produce Co. LLC in Ontario, OR, said on April 19 demand as well as pricing has leveled off this week. “Shipments have been very heavy, and it appears that customers are utilizing their stocks on hand,” Chris said. “It appears the white market is bouncing back, but this area isn’t shipping whites.” He said Murakami has a good supply of yellows in all sizes and a good supply of reds.
Mike Smythe with Big Country Onion Sales, Inc. reported that his company started shipping yellow onions on Monday, April 17. He said they will start reds and whites on April 24. “This year, we added 6th Street Cooling to ship from,” Mike said. “We are installing a box machine and will utilize the cold storage to pack our late onions in the Imperial Valley. Our goal is to ship from the Imperial Valley until June 9. With less acreage of melons, there are more opportunities to cool and store onions.” Mike said he is working with onion grower, Mark Dessert this season with his late whites and reds. “This will ensure no gap between the Imperial valley and the start date at Telesis Onion,” Mike said.
Texas Rio Grande Valley:
Don Ed Holmes at The Onion House in Weslaco said on April 19 the last of his onions are going out in the next few days. “Tomorrow is the last day of our regular loads,” Don Ed said. “We also have about 50 acres that we’ll finish up the middle to the end of next week.”
Trish Lovell with Agri-Pack in Pasco told us on April 19, “We are still packing yellows and reds and should be done with reds by the end of the month. We will go into probably the third week of May with yellows, and quality is still very good.” She said prices have been up, and demand has been good “the last week or so.”
Matt Murphy with Paradigm Fresh in Fort Collins/Denver, CO, weighed in this week. Matt said, “We started seeing strong demand over the last two weeks heading into Easter holiday, and the trend continues this week.” From his perspective, “Yellows, especially the larger sizes, are still tight in the Idaho/Oregon and Washington areas. Whites are becoming scarce to almost non-existent. Red onions remain in good supply. Quality out of the NW has remained very good considering the time of year.” Matt added, “We are seeing the deal in South Texas winding down quickly. Luckily supplies have started in California, and customers are looking to make the switch to the Imperial Valley. Market is starting off strong.”
Michelle Gurda with A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island said on April 19 that the 2017 crop is “moving along and on schedule so far.”
Ryan Fagerberg at Fagerberg Farms/Fagerberg Produce in Eaton told OnionBusiness.com on April 19, “All our seeded onions have been planted and are beginning to come up. We are now working on planting transplants, which will likely take three to four weeks to complete (weather pending). Weather has been unseasonably warm and dry, which has allowed us to stay on a nice planting schedule. However, I would certainly welcome some good moisture at this point.” Fagerberg F/P shipping season generally runs Aug. 1-March 15.
Colorado Western Slope/Utah:
Don Ed Holmes at The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said all onions he’ll be selling out of Colorado’s Western Slope are planted, and some are coming up. “Colorado has intermediate onions that will come off in late August,” he said. The Utah crop is also all planted, with acreage the same as it was last year. “It will be the first of October before they ship,” he said. “Utah harvests, cures and puts onions into storage before shipping them out in late fall.” Both areas will have yellows, whites and reds, he said.
James Johnson with Carzalia Valley Produce in Columbus told OnionBusiness.com on April 19 that his crop is progressing nicely. “Carzalia is looking at being a couple weeks earlier than normal to market, possibly as early as May 10,” James said. He added, “ Onions are sizing well, tops are healthy and bug pressures are low. The transplant and intermediate crops are growing quickly as well and look to deliver without any gaps.”
Steve Baker with Baker Packing in Ontario, OR, said on April 19 that Treasure Valley planting is going on “in between rain storms.”
Chris Woo with Murakami Produce Co. LLC in Ontario, OR, said some Murakami growers are finished planting, and the rest are planting in between rainstorms in order to finish. He said Murakami will have early onions at the end of July or beginning of August. “Our early onions are up, and the stands are in great shape,” Chris said. “I also want to make a point to invite everyone in the onion industry to our area at lunchtime on Aug. 21. Not only we will be hitting it hard packing onions, but the Ontario area will be in direct line with the highly anticipated total solar eclipse.”
Trish Lovell with Agri-Pack in Pasco said her Washington growers are finished planting, and acreage this year is the same as it was in 2016.
Central California, San Joaquin Valley:
Steve Baker with Baker Packing in Ontario, OR, said his operation’s San Joaquin Valley deal is coming along well. “Our grower is telling us his crop looks very nice,” Steve said, adding that shipping is expected to start shortly after Memorial Day. He said the program is the same as last year’s.